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Ugandans urged to embrace yoga

By Agnes Kyotalengerire

Added 18th June 2018 01:40 PM

Yoga enhances a balance between mind and body, thus creating a healthy living.

Ugandans urged to embrace yoga

Yoga enhances a balance between mind and body, thus creating a healthy living.

PIC:Barwomunsi taking part in a yoga session at a celebration to mark the International Day of Yoga at Kololo Airstrip on Saturday June 16, 2018. (Credit: Agnes Kyotalengire)



KAMPALA- The state minister for housing, Chris Baryomunsi, has urged people to promote yoga practice in the community as part of life.

We shall have an engagement and discussion with the India association, ministry of health and education, to see whether we can integrate yoga in our school curriculum. The health ministry can ensure that Ugandans across the country, including the school communities, integrate the practice of yoga and make it part of life," Baryomunsi said.

In addition, he urged the participants to use such yoga demonstration events to promote partnership, comradeship and togetherness.

Baryomunsi, who represented the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, was officiating at a celebration to mark the International Day of Yoga at Kololo Airstrip on Saturday.

The event that kicked off at exactly 5:00 o'clock in the evening, was organised by the High Commissioner of India Kampala, the Indian Association Uganda together with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) Uganda. 

The yoga demonstration event attracted over 2,000 participants from the Indian community, other foreigners and nationals (Ugandans) including pupils from Mbuya School who entertained guests with a song depicting how lack of food is still a challenge in the community. 

Addressing participants, the chairman of the Indian association, Mohana Rao, described yoga as a medicine that has the ability to heal any ailment. 

"Including yoga in your lifestyle is one of the health practices that people can opt for. It does not only make one physically fit, but it also calms the mind and soul," he said.

Ravi Shankar, who is the high commissioner of India, concurred with Roa, saying yoga enhances a balance between mind and body, thus creating a healthy living. 

Shankar said the celebration was a pre-activity to kick start a week to commemorate the International Yoga Day due to take place on June 21.  

After, an hour of speeches and entertainment, a total of 15 yoga teachers; some positioned at the podium and others on yoga platforms within the audience, took participants through a number of yoga moves. These included gentle neck exercises while they slowly inhaled and exhaled. 

Later, Alex Ochom, a yoga instructor, took the participants through shoulder stretches as he sensitised them: 

"These are really good stretches, especially after a long day's work. They help to increase circulation in the upper body and also the neck," Ochom said, before he began to instruct.

Other stretches included the sun salutations intended to work on the back through the cobra pose, squats to work on the knees, legs and the digestive pose to smooth indigestion ailments such as bloating.

The gentle moves left the young and old participants panting for breath as they struggled to keep pace with the instructors.  

Participants take part in sun salutation, part of yoga activities

What is yoga?

Paul Kazibwe, an instructor at Acacia Wellbeing Centre with 15 years' experience in training yoga, describes yoga as an art and science of living healthy through meditation and gentle moves. It is a means of balancing and harmonising the body-mind-emotions and spirit from within.

"It is a scientific practice originating from India that deals with three aspects that include the body, mind and breath. Body means keeping in shape, keeping the mind in a calm state and keeping the breath slow," Kazibwe explains

On June 21, Uganda will join the rest of the world to commemorate the 4th International Day of yoga.  The first International Day of yoga was celebrated throughout the world on June 21, 2015. The declaration was done after a call by the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi to the United General Assembly on the 27th September, 2014 during his address to the UN General Assembly. 


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